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J Clin Microbiol. 1996 Dec;34(12):2909-13.

PCR detection of metallo-beta-lactamase gene (blaIMP) in gram-negative rods resistant to broad-spectrum beta-lactams.

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Department of Bacteriology, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Japan.


We applied PCR to the rapid detection of the metallo-beta-lactamase gene, blaIMP, in clinically isolated gram-negative rods. A total of 54 high-level ceftazidime-resistant strains (MICs, > 128 micrograms/ml) were subjected to PCR analyses with the blaIMP-specific primers, since the blaIMP-bearing clinical isolates tested in our previous study always demonstrated high-level resistance to ceftazidime. Twenty-two blaIMP-positive strains including 9 Pseudomonas aeruginosa, 9 Serratia marcescens, 2 Alcaligenes xylosoxidans, 1 Pseudomonas putida, and 1 Klebsiella pneumoniae strains were newly identified from 18 different hospitals in Japan. These strains were mostly isolated from urine samples and showed high-level resistance to almost every cephem, while their levels of resistance to carbapenems were diverse. The PCR analyses with novel integrase gene-specific (intI3) and acc(6')-Ib gene-specific primers suggested that the integron structure found in a large plasmid harbored by S. marcescens AK9373 was also well conserved among blaIMP-positive strains. These results imply that the blaIMP gene cassettes have been dispersing into various gram-negative rods with the help of the newly identified integron element. Thus, the PCR-aided rapid detection will be helpful for the early recognition of emerging blaIMP-positive clinical isolates which demonstrate consistent resistance to beta-lactams.

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